History of the Dormitory

Seit sei­ner Eröff­nung 1960 hat das Stu­den­ten­wohn­heim Geschwis­ter Scholl e.V. eine reich­hal­ti­ge Geschich­te hin­ter sich. Nach­fol­gend berich­ten wir über die Bau­pha­sen, der Ver­än­de­run­gen rund um Gebäu­de & Orga­ni­sa­ti­on, die Zusam­men­ar­beit mit dem Mar­chio­ni­ni-Heim sowie die Geschich­te der Heimleitung.

History of the Dormitory

Sin­ce its ope­ning in 1960, the Stu­dent Resi­dence Geschwis­ter Scholl e.V. has had a rich histo­ry. Below, we report on the con­s­truc­tion pha­ses, chan­ges in and around the buil­dings and orga­niza­ti­on, col­la­bo­ra­ti­on with the Mar­chio­ni­ni Dorm, and the histo­ry of the dor­mi­t­ory administration.

Construction of Building 1

Alre­a­dy in the foun­ding year of the asso­cia­ti­on, 1956, the coll­ec­tion of dona­ti­ons began. Thou­sands of „begging let­ters” were sent to indi­vi­du­als and busi­nesses, accom­pa­nied by num­e­rous con­ver­sa­ti­ons at every pos­si­ble oppor­tu­ni­ty. The pro­mi­nent names of the patron and the association’s foun­ders, Bavaria’s Prime Minis­ter Dr. Wil­helm Hoe­g­ner, Uni­ver­si­ty Pre­si­dent Prof. Dr. Alfred Mar­chio­ni­ni, Minis­ter of Jus­ti­ce Dr. Fritz Koch, and Dr. Hans-Jochen Vogel, were instru­men­tal. Within just two years, the neces­sa­ry equi­ty capi­tal was rai­sed, and a plot of land in ruins near the Munich uni­ver­si­ties was acqui­red by the city of Munich. The city sold it to the asso­cia­ti­on and also gran­ted a sub­s­idy equal to the purcha­se pri­ce. Both are lar­ge­ly thanks to the then Mayor of Munich, Tho­mas Wim­mer (SPD), who staun­ch­ly advo­ca­ted for sup­port of the dor­mi­t­ory from the city. Addi­tio­nal­ly, the­re were sub­si­dies from the fede­ral and sta­te govern­ments, a loan from the city savings bank, and an irre­vo­ca­ble advan­ce rent pay­ment from the Asso­cia­ti­on of Social Demo­cra­tic Aca­de­mics. In return, the asso­cia­ti­on com­mit­ted to ren­ting a 20m² office space on the ground flo­or at the usu­al rent pri­ce to the asso­cia­ti­on and gran­ting them usa­ge rights for the com­mon rooms. The rights from this con­tract were trans­fer­red to the Social Demo­cra­tic Uni­ver­si­ty Fede­ra­ti­on, who­se office was housed in the hos­tel until 1973.

The archi­tects cho­sen for the con­s­truc­tion were Wer­ner and Gre­te Wir­sing, estee­med pio­neers of post-war moder­nism. Fol­lo­wing tho­rough plan­ning, which con­cluded on Janu­ary 21, 1958, with the com­ple­ti­on of the con­s­truc­tion plans, the buil­ding com­men­ced, and the foun­da­ti­on stone was laid on March 25, 1959. By the end of the year, Buil­ding 1, com­pri­sing 144 living spaces – 64 of which were dou­ble rooms – was com­ple­ted and occu­p­ied. The grand ope­ning took place on Janu­ary 7, 1960, with total cos­ts amoun­ting to 1.2 mil­li­on DM (Deut­sche Marks). Wer­ner Wir­sing remain­ed asso­cia­ted with the stu­dent resi­dence and its spon­so­ring asso­cia­ti­on as a mem­ber until his passing.

Model of Building 1 of the Schollheim by Werner and Grete Wirsing (provided by the Architecture Museum of the TUM)

At the ope­ning of Buil­ding 1, the­re was par­ti­cu­lar applau­se when the mana­ging direc­tor of the asso­cia­ti­on, Dr. Hans-Jochen Vogel, announ­ced that the Workers’ Wel­fa­re Asso­cia­ti­on had dona­ted a tele­vi­si­on set to the resi­dents. Back in 1960, tele­vi­si­on in post-war Ger­ma­ny was just seven years old, and owning a tele­vi­si­on set was not a given.

left: Building 1 shortly after completion in 1960. In the foreground, the rubble plot can be seen, where Building 2 stands today.

Cooperation between the dorm administration and the student self-administration

Even befo­re the first stu­dents moved into House 1 on Janu­ary 1, 1960, the asso­cia­ti­on had laid the ground­work for exten­si­ve self-admi­nis­tra­ti­on of the resi­dents through preli­mi­na­ry arran­ge­ments. They were to be invol­ved in the admi­nis­tra­ti­on of the stu­dent resi­dence by the asso­cia­ti­on, par­ti­ci­pa­ting in sel­ec­ting future resi­dents, deci­ding on the bud­get and rent increa­ses, and auto­no­mously sha­ping com­mu­nal life. Over the sub­se­quent years, the­se mea­su­res were gra­du­al­ly imple­men­ted. Sin­ce then, the resi­dents, repre­sen­ted by three mem­bers in the nine-mem­ber board of trus­tees, have col­la­bo­ra­tively evol­ved the con­tent and methods of their self-admi­nis­tra­ti­on in agree­ment with the association.

On the association’s side, the col­la­bo­ra­ti­on with the stu­dent self-admi­nis­tra­ti­on pri­ma­ri­ly falls under the respon­si­bi­li­ty of the dorm admi­nis­tra­ti­on, name­ly the dorm director.

Dorm directors of the Geschwister Scholl Dormitory

The initi­al appoint­ment of the dorm direc­tor was of gre­at importance, as the Scholl­heim aspi­red to be more than just a regu­lar stu­dent dor­mi­t­ory; it aimed to be a place for poli­ti­cal edu­ca­ti­on, fos­te­ring tole­rance, demo­cra­cy, and social enga­ge­ment. The foun­ders of the asso­cia­ti­on made a clear state­ment by sel­ec­ting the first dor­mi­t­ory direc­tor: They appoin­ted the then rela­tively unknown, young his­to­ri­an Dr. Hel­ga Gre­bing (✝ 25. Sep­tem­ber 2017 in Ber­lin), who sub­se­quent­ly aut­ho­red semi­nal works on natio­nal socia­lism and the ger­man labor move­ment. In hind­sight, she stands as one of the most distin­gu­is­hed his­to­ri­ans of the post-war era..

Grebing’s pro­gram for the dor­mi­t­ory was a „Stu­di­um géné­ra­le”: Stu­dents were to enga­ge in deba­tes on poli­tics, con­tem­po­ra­ry histo­ry, lite­ra­tu­re, and art. This was fos­te­red by lec­tures from pro­mi­nent figu­res such as Dr. Wil­helm Hoe­g­ner on „How is Ger­ma­ny gover­ned,” Dr. Alfred Jütt­ner on „The Sovie­tiza­ti­on of Eas­tern Cen­tral Euro­pe,” or Inge Scholl, the sis­ter of the decea­sed, dis­cus­sing „to what ext­ent the ide­as of her siblings are rea­li­zed today.” Con­se­quent­ly, on March 28, 1961, the Süd­deut­sche Zei­tung published an artic­le about the dor­mi­t­ory titled „The House Resi­dents – a Fami­ly of Nations.”

On May 1, 1962, mathe­ma­ti­ci­an Josef Maisch suc­cee­ded Gre­bing as the dorm direc­tor, while con­curr­ent­ly ser­ving as the inau­gu­ral prin­ci­pal of the new­ly estab­lished Munich Col­lege. He ser­ved com­men­d­a­b­ly as the part-time dorm direc­tor for over 24 years until his pas­sing on Sep­tem­ber 25, 1986. This peri­od encap­su­la­ted an enti­re era of the Scholl­heim, deep­ly influen­ced by the poli­ti­cal and socie­tal trans­for­ma­ti­ons that swept through our coun­try sin­ce 1968.

Sub­se­quent­ly, reti­red edu­ca­tor Karl-Heinz Ham­mer­mül­ler assu­med the posi­ti­on of dorm direc­tor until his pas­sing at the age of 77 on May 4, 2001. A sea­so­ned sail­or, he navi­ga­ted the dorm’s cour­se on land with con­sidera­ble pru­dence, empa­thy, and in a col­la­bo­ra­ti­ve spi­rit, con­tri­bu­ting to the dormitory’s success.

Til­mann Breit­bach, an archi­tect who­se care­er with the Bava­ri­an Sta­te Buil­ding Aut­ho­ri­ty ended in ear­ly 2002 upon ente­ring ear­ly reti­re­ment, suc­cee­ded him. Simi­lar to his pre­de­ces­sors, he dedi­ca­ted hims­elf suc­cessful­ly to the dor­mi­t­ory, nota­b­ly con­tri­bu­ting to the con­s­truc­tion of Buil­ding 3. At the behest of the asso­cia­ti­on, he draf­ted the initi­al plans for the expan­si­on, sub­se­quent­ly over­see­ing and super­vi­sing the con­s­truc­tion acti­vi­ties. Due to age-rela­ted reasons, he step­ped back from the dorm manage­ment in 2019.

Sin­ce 2019, Alex­an­dra Fils­er has suc­cee­ded Til­mann Breit­bach, now hand­ling the tasks of both admi­nis­tra­ti­on and dorm direc­tor simul­ta­neous­ly. Pri­or to assum­ing the addi­tio­nal role of dorm direc­tor, she had been actively invol­ved in the Schollheim’s admi­nis­tra­ti­on sin­ce 2014, ser­ving as the Head of Admi­nis­tra­ti­on from 2018. Trai­ned as a real estate and housing manage­ment busi­ness­wo­man at W. Rohrer & Sohn Trust Com­pa­ny, she pos­s­es­ses exten­si­ve exper­ti­se in pro­per­ty management.

Dorm director Dr. Helga Grebing
Dorm director Josef Maisch
Dorm director Karl-Heinz Hammermüller
Dorm director Tilmann Breitbach
Dorm director Alexandra Filser

Construction of Building 2

After the com­ple­ti­on of House 1, the fund­rai­sing efforts con­tin­ued to build a second house. Once again, within two years, through fund­rai­sing, the neces­sa­ry funds were gathe­red to app­ly for favorable fede­ral and sta­te sub­si­dies and secu­re a bank loan. The city aided by sel­ling the adja­cent rui­ned pro­per­ty to the asso­cia­ti­on and gran­ted a sub­s­idy equi­va­lent to the purcha­se pri­ce. This sup­port allo­wed Wer­ner and Gre­te Wir­sing to pro­ceed with con­s­truc­tion. By mid-1963, all pre­pa­ra­ti­ons, inclu­ding plan­ning and obtai­ning buil­ding per­mits, were com­ple­ted, and con­s­truc­tion com­men­ced. Chal­lenges like dif­fi­cult ter­rain due to deep ruin cel­lars, the obli­ga­ti­on to build gara­ges, the requi­red enc­lo­sed con­nec­tion bet­ween the two buil­dings, and gene­ral cost escala­ti­ons led to unwan­ted increa­ses in expen­ses. By April 1964, House 2 with its 98 sin­gle rooms, the con­nec­ting pas­sa­ge, and 21 gara­ges was rea­dy for occu­p­an­cy. The total con­s­truc­tion cos­ts amoun­ted to 1.5 mil­li­on DM.

Cooperation with the Marchionini Foundation 

Sin­ce autumn 1972, the Geschwis­ter Scholl Stu­dent Resi­dence and the Mar­chio­ni­ni Stu­dent Dor­mi­t­ory have for­med an admi­nis­tra­ti­ve unit. This means that the admi­nis­tra­ti­ve staff and the caret­a­ker not only mana­ge the Scholl Resi­dence but also over­see the Mar­chio­ni­ni Resi­dence loca­ted at Ler­chen­au­er Stra­ße 41 in Munich.

The basis for this col­la­bo­ra­ti­on lies in the shared histo­ry and com­mon values upheld by both resi­den­ces and their sponsors.

The establishment of the Alfred and Karl Marchionini Foundation

Alfred Mar­chio­ni­ni, the first chair­man of the asso­cia­ti­on, not only play­ed a signi­fi­cant role in foun­ding the Geschwis­ter Scholl Stu­dent Dor­mi­t­ory, but he and his wife, Mat­hil­de, also dedi­ca­ted their enti­re for­tu­ne to build ano­ther stu­dent dor­mi­t­ory and sup­port finan­ci­al­ly dis­ad­van­ta­ged stu­dents. In tes­ta­ment, the child­less cou­ple estab­lished the Alfred and Karl Mar­chio­ni­ni Foun­da­ti­on. The foun­da­ti­on over­saw the con­s­truc­tion of the Mar­chio­ni­ni Stu­dent Dor­mi­t­ory, which remains under its ownership.

Short­ly befo­re her death, Dr. Mat­hil­de Mar­chio­ni­ni decreed that her first name be repla­ced by her father-in-law’s name (Karl) in the foundation’s name. This was a tri­bu­te to the man from whom her hus­band drew his ide­als. Karl Mar­chio­ni­ni was an edi­tor at the „Leip­zig Volks­zei­tung” after World War I, an organ of the Inde­pen­dent Social Demo­crats (USPD)

Construction of the Marchionini Student Dormitory

The plan­ning and con­s­truc­tion of the Mar­chio­ni­ni Stu­dent Dor­mi­t­ory, much like Hou­ses 1 and 2 of the Geschwis­ter Scholl Stu­dent Dor­mi­t­ory, were pri­ma­ri­ly the result of the vol­un­t­a­ry com­mit­ment of Robert Jenisch. He ser­ved as the long­time mana­ger of the Scholl­heim. Archi­tec­tu­ral­ly, the Mar­chio­ni­ni Dor­mi­t­ory was desi­gned by Wer­ner Wir­sing as well.


The Mar­chio­ni­ni Dor­mi­t­ory was com­ple­ted on time for the 1972 Olym­pic Games and housed refe­rees during the games. Imme­dia­te­ly after the games, stu­dents moved in.

Due to an agreed admi­nis­tra­ti­ve alli­ance, the Mar­chio­ni­ni Dor­mi­t­ory was co-mana­ged from the out­set by the Scholl­heim. The respon­si­bi­li­ties and decis­i­on-making powers of the board and mana­ger of the Alfred and Karl Mar­chio­ni­ni Foun­da­ti­on remain­ed unaf­fec­ted by this arrangement.

left: The building of the Marchionini Student Dormitory

Repairs and renovations

No house in the world stays as new and int­act as it was on the day of its com­ple­ti­on. Exter­nal fac­tors like wind, wea­ther, heat, cold, rain, ice, and snow take their toll, while intern­al­ly, resi­dents and visi­tors con­ti­nuous­ly uti­li­ze it. The­r­e­fo­re, seve­ral reno­va­tions have been car­ri­ed out at the dor­mi­t­ory sin­ce its construction.

Renovation of Building 1

The dor­mi­t­ory under­went reno­va­tions inclu­ding the repla­ce­ment of flat roofs, whe­re tar paper nee­ded con­stant rene­wal until it was per­ma­nent­ly repla­ced with alu­mi­num sheets.

Con­ti­nu­al repla­ce­ments and ongo­ing future needs have included win­dows, faca­des, instal­la­ti­ons, and flo­o­ring. Room walls have also requi­red peri­odic repainting.

In the 1980s, signi­fi­cant modi­fi­ca­ti­ons were made to House 1: The kit­chen and sani­ta­ry are­as were expan­ded by inte­gra­ting and alte­ring the use of eight sin­gle rooms. Addi­tio­nal­ly, the ground-flo­or living quar­ters for the resi­dence direc­tor and tutors were con­ver­ted into a new living space with eight sin­gle rooms to com­pen­sa­te for the afo­re­men­tio­ned loss of rooms.

Uli Turek and Reinhard Schneider in the large room of the tutor’s apartment
Peter von Rüden and Uli Turek in the kitchen of the tutor’s apartment
Uli Turek cleaning the bathroom in the tutor’s apartment

Roof construction and expansion of both buildings.

The resi­dents of the dor­mi­t­ories expe­ri­en­ced the most signi­fi­cant con­s­truc­tion work (and endu­red it) bet­ween June 1998 and July 1999. During this peri­od, the flat roofs were repla­ced with hip­ped roofs, crea­ting three resi­den­ti­al units com­pri­sing a total of 22 sin­gle rooms. Simul­ta­neous­ly, the remai­ning 24 dou­ble rooms were final­ly con­ver­ted into sin­gle rooms. This con­ver­si­on redu­ced the total num­ber of accom­mo­da­ti­on units by only two, main­tai­ning 232 rooms.

All rooms in House 1 and House 2 recei­ved new wash­ba­sins, and ulti­m­ate­ly, access to hot water. The elec­tri­cal wiring requi­red com­ple­te repla­ce­ment and rein­force­ment. Addi­tio­nal­ly, all rooms were equip­ped with tele­pho­ne lines, TV/audio cable con­nec­tions, and con­nec­tions to the new IT house net­work (Scholl­net). This net­work is con­nec­ted to the Leib­niz Com­pu­ting Cen­ter (LRZ) of the Bava­ri­an Aca­de­my of Sci­en­ces via a high-per­for­mance lea­sed line, pro­vi­ding each resi­dent with free inter­net access.

Near­ly all win­dows in both buil­dings were repla­ced, and the faca­des recei­ved fresh coats of paint. The two out­da­ted cen­tral hea­ting sys­tems were repla­ced with modern, elec­tro­ni­cal­ly con­trol­led sys­tems and sup­ple­men­ted with a solar coll­ec­tor sys­tem, tota­ling around 100 squa­re meters of coll­ec­tor area.

The­se con­s­truc­tion mea­su­res, which tota­led almost 5 mil­li­on Deut­sche Marks, were made pos­si­ble only through signi­fi­cant govern­ment fun­ding and gene­rous pri­va­te con­tri­bu­ti­ons. Only a loan of 550,000 DM was neces­sa­ry, resul­ting in only mar­gi­nal increa­ses in rent for the residents.

Building 1 in its initial state with a flat roof.
Buildings 1 and 2 with rooftop expansions, before the construction of Building 3

Construction of Building 3

Sin­ce 2013, plans have been under­way to crea­te addi­tio­nal resi­den­ti­al spaces in clo­se pro­xi­mi­ty to the Munich uni­ver­si­ties and col­leges. The­se plans can be attri­bu­ted to the association’s long-time mana­ging direc­tor, Robert Jenisch.

The third construction phase of the Schollheim.

Due the lack of free ground spaces, the crea­ti­on of new living spaces resul­ted in the den­si­fi­ca­ti­on of exis­ting struc­tures. The­r­e­fo­re, plans were made to con­s­truct a new House 3 with 55 living spaces across five sto­ries, situa­ted bet­ween House 1 and House 2 along Stei­ni­cke­weg. The con­s­truc­tion plans were initi­al­ly dis­cus­sed with Wer­ner Wir­sing, and the exe­cu­ting archi­tect was later iden­ti­fied as Eber­hard Stei­nert in col­la­bo­ra­ti­on with Til­mann Breitbach.

The facade of the Schollheim with House 3 from Steinickeweg (east side)

After recei­ving the buil­ding per­mit from the City of Munich and fina­li­zing the plans, con­s­truc­tion work com­men­ced in July 2017 with the demo­li­ti­on of the old gara­ges in the cour­ty­ard. During the con­s­truc­tion peri­od, some resi­dents had to relo­ca­te as cer­tain rooms were affec­ted by the reno­va­ti­on. Appro­xi­m­ate­ly two years later, in Octo­ber 2019, the new­ly com­ple­ted rooms were rea­dy for occu­p­an­cy. The new house was offi­ci­al­ly inau­gu­ra­ted on Janu­ary 14, 2020, with a cere­mo­ni­al speech by Munich’s Mayor, Die­ter Rei­ter (SPD).

The cos­ts for the con­s­truc­tion of House 3, reno­va­tions in the exis­ting struc­tures, the con­s­truc­tion of out­door faci­li­ties, and fur­nis­hings amoun­ted to appro­xi­m­ate­ly 6.6 mil­li­on euros. The non-pro­fit spon­so­ring asso­cia­ti­on cover­ed more than half of this amount through its own resour­ces and loans. The sta­te of Bava­ria con­tri­bu­ted with a sub­s­idy cove­ring about 40% of the con­s­truc­tion costs.

Construction work in House 3 (picture: standard apartment)
The courtyard of the Schollheim with a rooftop terrace, in the background the west side of House 3

What’s par­ti­cu­lar­ly note­wor­t­hy about House 3 is that the 55 new resi­den­ti­al units, unli­ke tho­se in House 1 and House 2, are small stu­dio apart­ments. This means that the rooms come equip­ped with a small kit­chenet­te and a pri­va­te bath­room. Addi­tio­nal­ly, 13 out of the 55 apart­ments were desi­gned as bar­ri­er-free living spaces to faci­li­ta­te accom­mo­da­ti­on for stu­dents with phy­si­cal disa­bi­li­ties during their studies.

Renovations carried out during the new construction phase

The new House 3 is situa­ted bet­ween House 1 and House 2, direct­ly con­nec­ting to both. As part of the con­s­truc­tion, 20 rooms in the first two hou­ses were reno­va­ted. New sani­ta­ry faci­li­ties were also instal­led, and the hea­ting sys­tem was upgraded to cur­rent tech­no­lo­gi­cal stan­dards. To enhan­ce resi­dent safe­ty, all three hou­ses now com­ply with the latest fire safe­ty requirements.

The gara­ge roof in the cour­ty­ard was gree­ned to coun­ter­act sur­face seal­ing and to crea­te a more visual­ly appe­al­ing view from the rooms. A roof­top ter­race was crea­ted with trees, shrubs, and ben­ches, pro­vi­ding a space for various acti­vi­ties such as a beer gar­den, events, or com­mu­nal gathe­rings, fos­te­ring a sen­se of community.

Con­side­ring that bicy­cles are a popu­lar means of trans­por­ta­ti­on among stu­dents – being afforda­ble, fle­xi­ble, and envi­ron­men­tal­ly fri­end­ly – the expan­si­on also included bicy­cle sto­rage faci­li­ties acces­si­ble to all residents.

Future renovations

The cur­rent reno­va­tions include fun­da­men­tal updates to win­dows, modern ther­mal insu­la­ti­on, and mea­su­res to enhan­ce fire safe­ty in Hou­ses 1 and 2. The­se and future main­ten­an­ce work can only be par­ti­al­ly fun­ded by accrued repair reserves.

The­r­e­fo­re, both the asso­cia­ti­on and the resi­dents rely on con­ti­nu­al sup­port from govern­ment and pri­va­te fun­ding. As govern­men­tal con­tri­bu­ti­ons have alre­a­dy been hal­ved and may poten­ti­al­ly cea­se enti­re­ly in the future, pri­va­te con­tri­bu­ti­ons are more essen­ti­al than ever. We ask ever­yo­ne who cares about pre­ser­ving and fur­the­ring Scholl­heim to con­sider dona­ting. Even small con­tri­bu­ti­ons are wel­co­me and app­re­cia­ted becau­se many small dona­ti­ons unite to crea­te a strong finan­cial force.

We are par­ti­cu­lar­ly deligh­ted with ever­yo­ne who beco­mes a sup­port­ing mem­ber of our non­pro­fit asso­cia­ti­on. All con­tri­bu­ti­ons are tax-deduc­ti­ble, and our asso­cia­ti­on glad­ly pro­vi­des donors with the neces­sa­ry con­fir­ma­ti­on for tax pur­po­ses. Learn how you can sup­port us under the „Dona­te” sec­tion.